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Volume III
February, 2011

Newsletter Home / Kitchen Remedy

Cook Up A Clean Kitchen

By Camille Rhoades
With all the chatter about “white sales” and New Year’s resolutions to clean up around the house this is the perfect time to look into making our own cleaners. You can cook up more than just delicious eats in that kitchen of yours. There are a lot of benefits to this DIY skill, but the following list will highlight a few of the best reasons to give it a try.

1. Knowledge – When you make your own cleaners you know what goes in to them. It isn’t a huge list of strange chemicals that you have never heard of. Rather, you have the choice to use ingredients you are familiar with and that you feel are safe and effective for use in your home! This gives you the power to decide what chemicals or other ingredients you are comfortable with and just how “homemade” you are willing to go. It is just fine to use other cleaners, but this puts YOU in the driver’s seat.

2. Savings – The financial savings can be tremendous. This will vary greatly on how many different items you want to make on your own, but the more you choose to replace purchased detergents and soaps with homemade ones, the more the savings will tally up!

3. Safety – This goes back to the knowledge reasoning, but is important enough that I thought it deserved its own little highlight! When you make your own cleaners and detergents you can choose to keep harmful, toxic chemicals out of your home in exchange for recipes you are more comfortable with. This is important in any home, but it is particularly helpful and reassuring in homes where pets and young children live!

4. Environmental Friendliness – When you are using harsh chemicals in your house, you are sending them out of your house too! Whether that is in the garbage can or down the sink you just scrubbed – they end up out there. Choosing more natural ingredients puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to decide what you are comfortable with flushing down that drain! An added bonus – the more you make at home the fewer of those large plastic detergent and cleaner bottles there are sitting at the dump!

5. Self-Reliance – There is just something about knowing how to do things for yourself! This one may not seem all that life altering, but it could really come in handy in the right (or wrong) circumstances.

6. They work! – We have been led to believe that only the cleaner in the flashiest bottle cleans well. Commercials and a whole lot of well paid psychologists make sure that the designs, colors, scents, and catch phrases sell us on their power above all others! The truth is, you can make cleaners that work just as well (or better) than the brightly-packaged equivalent at the store. And you can do it for much, much less! If you are just really attached to the pretty packaging you can always make your own fancy label! Some markers, a toddler, and some paper and you’re your cleaner will out shine all of theirs! What do we think, “Wanda’s Window Wash”, Calli’s Cleaning Concoction”? Bad, I know!

Now we know why, but where to start? The internet is full (to put it mildly) of opinions and ideas on everything from A to Z, and cleaning solution recipes are no exception. I will share some simple starters with you all and if you are looking for more you can find anything you could dream of out there in the vast land of “Google”!

***Make sure to keep all home-made formulas well-labeled, and out of the reach of children.***

Homemade Window Glass Cleaner

1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water (or 2 tablespoons per quart) OR
1/2 cup sudsy ammonia to 1 gallon water (or 2 tablespoons per quart) OR
1/2 cup sudsy ammonia
2 cups rubbing alcohol
1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent
1 gallon water (This one is less likely to freeze in cold weather.)

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Basic Cleaner Recipe

This makes about 2 cups of formula, and it works really well cleaning dirt and grime.

1/2 teaspoon baking soda or washing soda
2 teaspoons borax
1/2 teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
2 cups hot water

Combine all the ingredients and the water into a spray bottle. Shake well. The washing soda or baking soda makes this formula a great grease cutter.

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All Purpose Cleaner with Ammonia

1 qt rubbing alcohol
1 cup lemon ammonia
1 tsp dishwashing liquid
21 oz 409

Combine the ingredients into a empty one gallon container such as a milk carton. Shake the contents, and then top off the gallon container with water to make 1 full gallon of cleaning solution. note: never add bleach to ammonia, a harmful and toxic gas will result. Pour the cleaner into a spray bottle then you are all set

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Heavy Duty Cleaner

1 tablespoon Ammonia
1 tablespoon Liquid Laundry Detergent
2 Cups Water

Mix all of the ingredients well and pour the cleaning solution in a spray bottle.

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Soft Scrub

This is very easy to do. Simply pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into a mixing bowl. Add liquid detergent and mix until the texture is similar to the commercial product.

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Vinegar Deodorizer

Pour straight white household vinegar into a spray bottle and use it to clean countertops and cut grease on the stove. The vinegar odor dissipates. Vinegar will kill mold and mildew, cut grease, and is a natural deodorizer. It leaves no residue and is not harmful to your health

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Liquid Laundry Detergent

1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda

Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.

Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.

Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.

Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel).

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Powder Laundry Detergent

12 cups Borax
8 cups Baking Soda
8 cups Washing Soda
8 cups Bar soap (grated)

Mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed tub.

Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load.

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Homemade Dishwasher Soap

Dishwasher soap is easy to make, and cost effective. I mix up a batch in an empty canister, and pour it in the dishwasher as needed. Mix and use per dishwasher load:

1 Tablespoon Borax
1 Tablespoon Baking soda
Mix equal parts Borax and Baking Soda, and add 2 Tablespoons per load. Increase proportion of soda for hard water. Use vinegar in the rinse cycle.

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